Grandmothers give hope
A group of grandmothers in Khayelitsha, supported by St Luke’s Hospice, is taking the initiative to care for their children and grandchildren who are sick with HIV/AIDS. Thandeka Teyise asked the group’s co-ordinator Nomakula Mrubuta about the challenges they face.
THANDEKA: Oomakhulu bangabona bantu abasemsini wokonga abantwana nabazukulwana babo abaphila nogawulayo. Kwakungo 2001 xa iziko lase St Luke’s labona isidingo sokuba oomakhulu kufuneka babandakanywe kwimiba kagawulayo. Kulapho ke umbutho uPhila Ngethemba waqalwa khona. UNomakula Mrubata nowongamele lombutho echaza ukuba bawuphatha njani umcimbi kagawulayo namaxhegwazana.
Translation: Grandmothers bear the brunt of caring for their ailing children and grandchildren who live with HIV. It was in 2001 when St Lukes Hospice saw a need for grandmothers to be included in HIV or AIDS programmes. It is then that Phila Ngethemba (Live with Hope) was formed. Nomakula Mrubata, co-ordinator at the Centre explains how they address HIV/AIDS with the grandmothers.
NOMAKULA: Saqala safumana oomakhulu abayi 66 saba train(a) kwi-skills ezininzi. Ii-skills ezifana nokonga lento sithi yi home based care sasiyazi ukuthi xa umntu egulela endlini uphela engunesi ngoku ngelinye ixesha ufumanise ukuthi oomakhulu bayabonga abazukulwana, oonyana babo neentombi zabo but bengenalo ulwazi lokonga okanye bengakwazi nokuzikhusela. Ba train(wa) ke nakwezinye ii-skills for instance i-business because siye sabona into yokuthi oomakhulu abathathi ntweni. Oomakhulu bafumana imali yenkam-nkam. Le mali yenkam nkam ayikwazi ukufeza iimfuno zabo bona bengoomakhulu kubeka phi kengoku sebejongene nabazukulwana babo abazinkedama.
Translation: We’ve started training a group of 66 grandmothers in different skills like home-based care. We knew that most of them (grandmothers) become nurses because they care for their sick grandchildren, sons and daughters. They help them even though they have no basic care experience. We also trained them in other skills like business because we saw a need to develop them as they depend on their pension grants. This grant is not enough to sustain them in all the things they need, moreover when they have to care for their grand children as well.
THANDEKA: Intsebenziswano esekelwe kwintembeko izala iziqhamo ezihle neyinto ebonakala kuPhila Ngethemba utsho uNomakula. Nonombulelo kumaxhegwazana athe anenxaxheba ekusekweni kwalombutho. Uthi bahlala besebenza esitiyeni nesithi sibancede ukuba babe nento esiwa phantsi kwempumlo ngexesha lesivuno. Uhambisa athi indlala iyingxaki kumakhaya alamaxhegwazana kungoko kwanyanzeleka ukuba baqale isitiya.
Translation: Partnerships built in trust bear fruitful results — this is the case with Phila Ngethemba group says Nomakula who is grateful for the understanding of the grandmothers who also had an input in building up this centre. The old ladies do their garden work so that they can reap the harvest to feed their families. Nomakula says, poverty is the major problem in the households of these grandmothers and so they started the vegetable garden.
NOMAKULA: Le project bayithathe ngothakazelelo ngoba ukuhlala ekhaya ube ucinga ukuba ngenye imini uzakungcwaba, uzakuba nesingcwabo somntwana wakho yeyona nto ibingabaphilisi kodwa bathi bakuza apha beza benee ideas zabo. Thina siba support(a) kweezo ideas zabo banazo. Bahlala phantsi kwafumaniseka ukuthi oomakhulu aba abanye babo babengabaphangeli abanye babo babengabantu ababekwazi ukwenza imisebenzi yezandla so umakhulu onolwazi ngomsebenzi wesandla ebehlala phantsi afundise abanye oomakhulu. As nawe ubonile apha izinga lomsebenzi woomakhulu lixhomile bayathunga abakwazi ukuthunga benza iintsimbi abakwazi ukwenza iintsimbi kwaye apha phandle sinegadi enkulu. Safumanisa ukuba oomakhulu esona isikhalazo esikhulu koomakhulu kukulamba nendlala emakhaya. Ukuthi balambe bona bengoomakhulu kuphinde kulambe naba bantwana bashiyeke nabo so ke ngoku safumanisa ukuthi kungayingcamango entle xa sinokuqala into enokuthi ihlangabezane nendlala leyo.
Translation: They accepted this whole project with both hands because to stay at home thinking that ‘one day I’ll have to bury my child’, this was on of their worst worries. But when they joined this group they came up with their own ideas on how to implement things and we (St Luke’s) offered them our support. After discussions we found out that some of the grandmothers were workers and they are skilled so the one’s who were able to do handwork taught others how to do things. As you have seen that the rate of their work is promising they do sewing, beadwork and we also have a vegetable garden. But their greatest concern is poverty in their homes. The fact that they get hungry and also their children sleep on empty stomachs so we felt that we should do something to help.
THANDEKA: UPhila Ngethemba uligwiba kwabo balahlekelwe lithemba utsho uNomakula. Ecacisa indlela ababanceda ngayo oomakhulu abathunyelwa kubo.
Translation: Phila Ngethemba gives hope to the hopeless says Nomakula who explains how they help the grandmothers who are referred to them.
NOMAKULA: Umakhulu xa efika apha engekazinto xa ethunyelwe kuphila ngethemba lomakhulu ushiye egulelwa ngumntwana. Ndinoo makhulu apha abagulelwa ngumntwana mhlawumbi ngababini endlini ngabakhe abantwana babini bagulayo. Lo makhulu ufika ephelelwe lithemba hence sathi igama lale group ngu Phila Ngethemba ngoba siyazi ukuthi ichiza le HIV alikabikho. Kodwa ke lasekhona ukuncedisana nabo at least mabathi bewatya abantwana babo kodwa babe bona bebambelele ethembeni ngoba lizakude libekhona ichiza. Ufika umakhulu ediniwe ngoba umdala luxanduva lokonga umntwana ezakumhlamba amphakamise ebhedini amse kwelinye icala ufike umakhulu umbone ukuthi amandla aphelile. Okwesithathu ufike umakhulu ebona into yokuthi akukho nto enokuphinda indincede kukuphela kobom bomntwanam obu. Umakhulu ke ngoku uyehla ngokwasemphefumlweni. Kufika umakhulu apha olilayo ongazaziye ukuthi lento se ixakene naye akayazi kengoku ukuthi uzakwenza njani. Xa umakhulu efika ekweso simo thina singu St Luke’s Hospice sisebenza ngabantu abaxilongwe kwafunyaniswa ukuthi banezifo elingekhoyo ichiza lokuzinyanga for instance sisebenza ngabantu abanogawulayo abane cancer so akukabikho chiza lokuzinyanga ezo zifo ezo. Kwa into yokuba umntu axelelwe kuthiwe unyana wakho okanye intombi yakho alikho ichiza lokuyinceda lento already umakhulu uphelelwa lithemba aphelelwe ngamandla. Into thina esiyenzayo kukubuyisa ithemba okanye amandla kamakhulu ukuthi abone ukuthi nokuba uxelelwe na makhulu ukuthi unyana wakho uzakusweleka then sithi make it a point ukuba kwi counseling umakhulu sijika oko ebekubona yena ibububi sikujike abone ubuhle babo. Singu St Luke’s Hospice si believe(a) ukuthi umntu uzakubhubha ngexesha lakhe lokubhubha kwakhe. Sizama ke ngoku ukuthi oomakhulu mabangakuboni ukufa bakubone njengento ebaxhalabisayo kodwa umntu makenze unako nako ukuthi lomntu ngelixesha esagula engeka bhubhi akwazi ukuthi ziintoni anokuthi azenze ahlangabezane naye azathi xa ebhubha abhubhe ngesidima.
Translation: When a grandmother arrives here without any knowledge of what is going on probably she has left a sick child back home. We have cases of grandmothers who have about two children who are both sick. She comes here without any hope, that’s the reason why we called this place ‘a place of hope’ because we know that there is no cure for HIV. The anti-retrovirals are there to assist them to pull through. Because of her old age she comes here exhausted from caring for a sick child. Thirdly, she loses hope and thinks that there’s nothing that anyone can do and that’s the end of my child’s life. When she is in that state as St Luke’s Hospice we care for people who are suffering from incurable diseases like AIDS and cancer. The fact that the grandmother is told that there is no cure for the disease that is affecting her son or daughter cripples the parent and she loses hope. We believe that everybody will die at a certain time. We try to instill confidence to the grandmothers so that they should not see death as a threat. But rather they should try to do their utmost best to take care of their loved one before he dies. So that when he dies he dies in dignity.
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